Ericsson reckons it has finally got the hang of this partnership business

Ericsson’s partnership with Juniper is actually producing results, which makes it a distinct improvement on previous efforts.

The fact that it doesn’t have a fixed line offering has always been a strategic disadvantage for Ericsson. As a result it continually flirts with companies that specialise in that stuff in the hope of being able to offer that elusive end-to-end solution without going to all the hassle of buying one of them, as Nokia did with Alcatel-Lucent.

The most high-profile example of this came when Ericsson announced its engagement to Cisco back in 2015. This strategic partnership was sold as the best of both worlds; bringing all the synergy of a merger without all the hassle. There’s a reason why M&A is still generally the preferred option however, with the Cisco partnership yielding little fruit and being left to wither on the vine.

After a couple of years Ericsson gathered the courage to get back game again, this time taking it slow via the announcement of a backhaul partnership with Juniper. Five months of chilling in front of Netflix together seems to have strengthened the relationship such that the shy couple are now “unveiling further enhancements” to their relationship.

“The positive market response to our expanded partnership with Juniper is a testimony to the strength of our joint end-to-end transport solutions,” said Per Narvinger, Head of Product Area Networks at Ericsson. “We hope to sustain this momentum by further enhancing our leading, high-performance transport portfolio to ensure that next-generation networks continue to benefit our customers.”

“By integrating complementary portfolios and technologies, Juniper Networks and Ericsson continue to partner and further develop end-to-end transport solutions for the 5G era – solutions that give service providers greater flexibility, performance, security and automation,” said Manoj Leelanivas, Chief Product Officer said Juniper Networks.

The rest of the industry seems to be really happy for them and secretly have their fingers crossed that we’ll be hearing the pitter-patter of 5G networks before long. Juniper Networks and Ericsson have implemented renewed DNA core network that supports 5G transport capacity, boosting our 5G readiness,” cooed Mikko Kannisto, Director of Transmission Networks at DNA.

Elsewhere Orange and NTT have been spending a lot more time with each other recently and things have got serious enough for them to sign a strategic R&D framework agreement, no less. What’s more they expect to “mutualise research findings in several key domains,” which sounds downright saucy, the lucky things.

“As Europe embarks on its own 5G journey, our collaboration with NTT will be very precious,” said Stéphane Richard, CEO of Orange Group. “Both parties share a commitment to continuous learning and cultural exchange, which I fundamentally believe is essential in today’s global environment. The mutualisation of our respective research learnings will enable us to identify and develop better services for customers in our respective regions, and support the development of our multinational business customers internationally.”

“Orange is one of the most innovative and important players to cooperate closely in various ways to progress AI, IoT and 5G,” said Jun Sawada, CEO of NTT Group. “With this agreement, we will be able to enhance our capabilities and accelerate digital transformation in various industries, cities, sports and international events in worldwide.”

The weather is expected to be a lot better than it was last year in Barcelona and, with Spring in the air, there’s every chance MWC 2019 will see a lot more telecoms ‘partnerships’ get started, especially after many ‘networking evenings’ on offer. We wish them all the best.